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Kingston, SCNTR team up for new reading initiative

The Selma Center for Nonviolence, Truth and Reconciliation (SCNTR) have partnered with Sophia P. Kingston Elementary School to establish a Reading mentorship Project.

The partnership kicked off on Monday with a backpack distribution for Sophia P. Kingston’s third graders.

Each backpack was filled with a Selma Superhero book, a Selma Superhero mask, a Selma Superhero dog tag, stickers, a hand sanitizer pen and a thermometer for the child’s family as a way to address both the need for stronger literacy skills and the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.

The Reading Mentorship Project was developed as a response to the 2019 Alabama Literacy Act which requires that all third graders to read at class level.

The project will begin virtually after mentors have been trained by Selma City Schools.

In addition to the weekly time slot for mentoring, virtual field trips will also be planned to help

supplement the traditional mentoring interactions, offering students the opportunity to access places that are not available for in-person visits.

“We are super excited that the Selma Center for Nonviolence has chosen the third-grade class at Sophia P. Kingston to adopt,” said Sophia P. Kingston Principal Tamara Nelson Smith. “We know that schools that have community support have increased school pride, higher

attendance rates, and increased student achievement! At Sophia P. Kingston, these are our goals and we know with the Selma Center for Nonviolence support these goals will be attained! We thank them for choosing us.”

“The Selma Superhero Book Series and theme was designed so that our young people would be inspired by knowing our local history and that others didn’t come and save us but others came to help illuminate and build upon the work of our local foot soldiers were already doing so that the students (and adults) will know that they have the power to transform their own communities and then others will come and assist,” said Anika Jackson, Executive Director of the SCNTR.